This is a book review of Knitting: The Complete Guide.
The Author of This Book: Jane Davis
Publisher: Krause Publications, an Imprint of F&W
Copyright Date: 2008
ISBN 13: 9870896895915
Book Format: This book was originally available as a spiral-bound hardcover, which is the format that I’m looking at when writing this review. However, these days the current edition of the book is the digital edition, formatted for the Kindle reader. The Kindle edition is available for purchase through Amazon.com. If you want to buy a used copy of the hardcover spiral edition, you can also sometimes find them available for sale on the Amazon.com website.
Number of Pages: 248 pages
Cover Price: The original cover price of the hardcover book was $29.99 US dollars; this is what I originally paid for the book when I bought it from a local craft store — and I thought I got my money’s worth at the time of original purchase. I just checked Amazon.com to see the current price for the Kindle edition, and it was $14.99 — a bargain, in my opinion. At that price, it is well worth downloading. It’s also available for borrowing via Kindle Unlimited program — which is a really incredible deal for compulsive knitters who go through bunches of different patterns. No worries if you don’t have a Kindle; you can use the Amazon.com’s Kindle Reading App for free.
Skill Level: This book is suitable for knitters of any skill level. It includes bunches of basic info that experienced knitters will already know, but it does include many advanced and out-of-the-ordinary techniques as well. For example, there’s a lovely section on the topic of smocking your knitting, which is a technique that even advanced knitters might not know how to do.
The Focus of This Book:
This book is divided into 3 main sections:
- Section 1: The Basics — yarn fibers, yarn textures, yarn colors, tools, terms, how to knit, embellishment techniques, how to use charts, knitting tips and more.
- Section 2: Stitch Patterns — This section is like a stitch dictionary. You get instructions for 200+ different knitting stitch patterns including ribbing, cables, smocking, embroidery, eyelets, lace, bead knitting, colorwork stitches and more.
- Section 3: Basic Projects — You get 15 different patterns for classic projects including a triangle shawl, a lace sampler shawl, a rolled edge hat, plus more hats, sweaters, socks and glove patterns.
- There’s also an introduction, glossary, index and list of supply sources.
This Book’s Pros:
- The techniques demonstrated in the book are useful, and most of them are classics that will remain so either forever, or at least for a long time to come.
- This book is written simply enough that a smart child could understand it. The text is clear, succinct and to-the-point, without fluff or wasted words.
- The organization of the book is intuitive, logical and straightforward.
- The book is visually appealing, with beautiful project samples and attractive photography.
- There’s a great deal of helpful information packed into this volume.
- If you enjoy knitting with physical books, the spiral binding on the hardcover edition is a pleasure to work from. It lays nice and flat, and it’s easy to keep your place without worrying about your pages turning themselves.
This Book’s Cons:
- The editing in this book was poorly done, and there are mistakes in multiple places. These include obvious mistakes like omitted words. Those aren’t the biggest problem; the biggest problem is with less obvious mistakes in the patterns.
- While this book contains a great deal of wonderful information, it isn’t the most comprehensive knitting reference available. If you’re after the absolutely most comprehensive knitting reference book around, you might be more interested in taking a look at a whopping 736 page book by June Hemmons Hiatt called The Principles of Knitting. (That’s the page count on the newer edition of the book, dated 2012; the older edition from 1989 is shorter, although still long, detailed and comprehensive.)
Both the June Hemmons Hiatt and Jane Davis books are well worth owning, in my opinion.
A Recommended Buy
Overall, I think this is a lovely book, and I’m delighted to recommend it to other knitters.